In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a really heart warming story about love and friendship. Dannie is lost but doesn’t realize it; she has friends, the perfect career and the perfect boyfriend. Bella is Dannie’s best friend and her exact opposite. Bella is adventurous and takes risks trying to find true love and passion in her life. As best friends since childhood, Dannie and Bella complement and challenge one another. Eventually Dannie’s perfect life and bubble have to pop, but how will she survive such a dramatic blow to her perfectly orchestrated life?
This is ultimately a story about love in all it forms. As humans we have the ability to be passionate and love unconditionally. Rebecca Serle’s story shows us just how unpredictable love can be and how it reveals itself to us in unexpected ways. I appreciate how the narrative unfolds in the moment. Dannie tries to control every aspect of her life, but love cannot always be controlled and it can lead us on paths we never thought we would go. In one instance, Dannie and David’s relationship is referred to as a parallel path, I would argue that love does this as well. We have the ability to love in my forms at the same time without our love for one person affecting our love for another. If you appreciate a great story with many hidden connections and deeper contexts, then this is a great book for you! I would definitely not hesitate to recommend this book.
I also want to thank NetGalley and the Publisher Atria Books for the opportunity to read and review a copy of this novel.
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Wreath Between the Lines by Daryl Wood Gerber
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As a newcomer to the Cookbook Nook Mystery Series by Daryl Wood Gerber, I found Wreath Between the Lines a fun, engaging Christmas read. There was plenty of action to the plot and Jenna is a friendly and sweet character with maybe more than her share of curiosity. Because I am new to the series I didn’t fully understand Jenna and her father’s relationship but her father seems to be supportive of all her investigative actions even while he is away on vacation.
The plot jumps right into a murder which happens at Jake Chapman’s home, a rich millionaire who happens to be a friend of the family. Suspicion about the motive for the murder, Jenna jumps right in to solve the case and find out why it appears Jake was the intended target of the attack. This is the point in the story where I find my first major critique. I am surprised at how quickly Jenna accuses everyone around her. She doesn’t seem to have a filter in who she suspects as a criminal and often confronts people directly. I think the story loses a bit of its credibility with Jenna’s immature investigative tactics. This is the first reason I have only given the novel a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.
My second major critique would be wordiness. There are too many descriptions and unnecessary details added which downplay some of the action in the plot. For instance, when Jenna is running to help Jake whose friend has been murdered and strung up by Christmas lights, why do we get a description of Jake’s detached garage? I just feel as though some long descriptions of characters and places are unnecessary or awkwardly placed. The writing is overly detailed to the point where it is excessive. Some of these things might still be edited out before the final copy so I haven’t given too much weight to that in my rating.
All in all, I think I would be happy to give another one of Daryl Wood Gerber’s books a try and would definitely not hesitate to recommend this as a quick and spirited Christmas read.
I also want to thank NetGalley and Beyond the Page Publishing for an advanced copy of this e-book to read and review.
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I read an interesting statistic today… approximately 4,000 e-books are self-published on Amazon EVERY DAY.
I looked into it and Amazon doesn’t actually share e-book stats with anyone, never mind sharing their sales numbers to the publishing industry but it seems like the actual number might even be higher than 4,000. Interesting.
I read this article too and it poses a lot of questions about how and why Amazon might be keeping book sales information to themselves. Here is a similarity compelling article on the topic from GoodReads.
Of course, they also say most statistics are
MADE-UP on the spot.
What do you think of this? Would you self-publish an e-book if you knew you could make a few thousand dollars this year off of it? Or would our wait until you had a really good idea for a book and hope a publisher picks your story?
On another topic: What have you been reading lately?
Here are my most recent reads for 2018:
“The Last Mrs. Parrish” by Liv Constantine
“The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle” by Stuart Turton
“The Golden Egg” and “The Jewels of Paradise” by Donna Leon
“The Prisoner in the Castle” by Susan Elia MacNeal
“Earthly Remains” by Donna Leon
“The Clockmakers Daughter” by Kate Morton
“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
See my full READ2018 list so far and any reviews I have posted for them @ GoodReads